May 21.10: Chat Room, Game #43 vs. Yankees: Mets come limping home.

Both the Mets and Yankees limp into this weekend’s series at Citi Field, but as usual there are more issues in Queens than the Bronx.

“I always look forward to these series,’’ Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “You find out where you are as a team, and how you perform in that type of environment.’’

Doesn’t he know by now?

The Mets, despite winning last night at Washington, are reeling, almost in a free fall, and could very well be there after back-to-back series against the Yankees and Phillies.

The last-place Mets are coming off a 2-6 road trip in which they lost, by injury or performance, three-fifths of their rotation. Jon Niese, the most consistent of the three, went on the disabled list and could be joined there by John Maine, who was yanked after five pitches last night. Oliver Perez was exiled to the bullpen.

Journeyman knuckleballer R.A. Dickey replaced Perez and performed well, and long reliever Hisanori Takahashi will start tonight in place of Niese against the Yankees.
Takahashi’s move to the rotation, even temporarily, further strains the bullpen. Fernando Nieve and Pedro Feliciano, so effective in April, have been hit lately.

Further complicating matters has been an unproductive offense, which is relying on a journeyman catcher Rod Barajas and rookie first baseman Ike Davis because of the season-long power drought of Jason Bay and David Wright’s assault on the strikeout record.

Bay, although he’s been making contact lately, in on pace for four homers, while Wright is on pace for 223 strikeouts. Jeff Francoeur and Jose Reyes also aren’t hitting.

As bad as things have been, one can logically assume if Wright and Reyes, the cornerstones to the franchise, were hitting according to expectations, the Mets would be over .500 and there wouldn’t be so many rumblings about Manuel’s job security.

Despite COO Jeff Wilpon’s impromptu meeting in Atlanta in which he said he wasn’t about to fire Manuel or GM Omar Minaya, the whispers persist and are even louder after last night’s Manuel-Maine dugout blowout.

“When the owner comes down, you know something is going on,’’ said Francoeur. “But at the same time, you have to be professional. At times it can be tough, all the speculation, but I try to just play. That’s the easiest way to deal with it.’’

Manuel didn’t do much to get Wright and Francoeur on his side when he rested both this week. Both expressed displeasure at sitting, but neither criticized Manuel.

Also, neither offered much verbal support.

Before he was sacked, Willie Randolph had more verbal support from his players than Manuel has received, but the players are still hustling. That is a saving grace, but will it be enough if the Mets are pasted by the Yankees and Phillies?

Here’s tonight’s Mets’ line-up behind Takahashi:

Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Angel Pagan, CF
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Hisanori Takahashi, LP

NOTE: Luis Castillo was scratched from the line-up with a bruised left heel. … After throwing five innings in relief last night, Raul Valdes is not expected to be available for the Yankees series. … With Takahashi starting, R.A. Dickey will be the long man.

PREVIOUS POST: Feel free to comment on the Maine vs. Manuel thread.

53 thoughts on “May 21.10: Chat Room, Game #43 vs. Yankees: Mets come limping home.

  1. I will probably miss this game .. Bday to attend. I have given up on manuel as a manager after last night. No way is Jerry a pleyer’s manger. Nor is Warthen any sort of pitching coach. No One protected Maine.
    Terrible, its almost as bad as the mets blacklisting Maine for all time.
    technically Warthen can get sued for Liable/slander depending if he spoke and wrote it that maine is a liar for all to see and read. :-(

  2. Maine hasn’t been looked at yet, but will be seen by a doctor before the start of the game. … Manuel said he appreciated Maine’s fire, but needs to see if he’s healthy.-JD

  3. During his press conference, Manuel went out of his way to praise Maine’s competitiveness. … Manuel also said he wasn’t concerned about his job security and that he’ll manage in the best interest of the team and not for his job.-JD

  4. Manuel said, “my gut tells me something is physically wrong,” with Maine. … Manuel said he took Maine out because he was trying to protect him.-JD

  5. uhhuh. this is called spin and um whats it called .. backpeddling CYA.
    if you were protecting him why did you act disgusted at him? you should have been mad at Warthen.

  6. Whatever damage control Manuel spun, there’s still the “habitual liar,” comment from Warthen that is extremely damaging. Manuel said he didn’t have a trust issue with Maine’s competitiveness, but said it was blurry when it came to his health. There’s a definite trust issue, however, with the pitching coach.-JD

  7. Manuel was 100% wrong and he did it in front of everyone!
    the wheel turns. this should be interesting series this will make or break M&M.

  8. SteveC (10): It was handled poorly by Manuel and Warthen. If his mechanics and velocity were so poor, then Maine never should’ve taken the mound. … If nothing else, there wouldn’t have been the dugout blowout.-JD

  9. altho they’re boneheads for the way it was handled at least the manager didnt call john out in his press conference the way he has other players.

  10. Pat Misch is available at Buffalo. … Here’s something interesting. Roy Oswalt told the Astros he wants to be traded.-JD

  11. he’s a reliever right?

    we need starters.

    we have a log that got added to the pen this week and two other starters on the shelf. we lost our long relief man because he is pitching tonight and we do not have any young talent ready to come up.

    adding a one inning relief pitcher is like sticking your finger in the dike to plug the leak.

  12. dave (20): He is a reliever, but they need relievers this weekend with Valdes spent and Takahashi going tonight. Not to mention Nieve being burned out.-JD

  13. FOURTH INNING: Great timing on the strikeout with the runner on third and one out. Takes away the sacrifice fly. That’s twice he’s done that tonight.-JD

  14. taki knows how to pitch.

    why wasnt he in the rotation?

    oh yeah. because we paid 36 million to a relief pitcher we call a starter and do not want to say the emperor has no clothes.

  15. and like a good soldier he just shut up and did not whine about what was owed him.

  16. john(21)

    yes, i know. we need everything.

    but this team needs starters more.

    so for the past few years we make no attempt to improve the rotation.

    we take our best pitching prospect and put him in the pen. which of course pushes back the date that he can start for us.

  17. dave (25): Agreed. But, for this weekend they need help in the pen. It can’t be too long before they send Mejia down to stretch him out.-JD

  18. Because of the off day Monday, the can tinker with their rotation and won’t need another starter to replace Maine until a week from Sunday.-JD

  19. 26

    i know.

    but you can say that about every night because their rotation is a joke

  20. yeah.

    he is also a reliever.

    can you really expect him to go out and pitch a complete games?

  21. That pitch to Cano was Takahashi’s 100th of the night. This is his last inning. If Cano gets on, it could be his last hitter.-JD

  22. i hope taki isnt teasing us.

    he pitched 6 shutout innings against a good lineup.

    if he sticks and niese can come back soon, we can bring up misch and we have a lineup. i would be happy to bury ollie in mop up role in the pen if the above comes to pass.

  23. i would like to see mejia get into the game.

    i want to see how he handles the lineup

  24. Kind of surprised they went to Dessens so soon. Now they are bringing in Perez. Not a good job of using the pen this inning by Manuel. …. If they are going to go with Perez, it should have been to start the inning.-JD

  25. i never would have thought i would rather see angel at the plate over david

  26. Take away Cora’s error and maybe it’s still scoreless. Whatever, blame this one on the offense. Two hits doesn’t cut it.-JD

  27. A QUICK WRAP/Game #43

    FINAL: Yankees 2, Mets 1.
    RECORD: 20-23.
    THUMBNAIL ANALYSIS: Hisanori Takahashi handcuffed the Yankees, but with help from an error, they got to Elmer Dessens for two runs. The Mets couldn’t touch Javier Vazquez.
    ON THE MOUND: Takahashi was superb in his major league debut with six scoreless innings. Twice he had a runner on third and less than two outs and he got the strikeout. … Dessens, brought up when John Maine went on the DL, gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
    AT THE PLATE: Angel Pagan got the Mets’ first hit in the fifth. … Back-to-back doubles by Jason Bay and Ike Davis in the ninth averted the shutout.
    IN THE FIELD: Alex Cora started over the gimpy Luis Castillo for the second straight game and made a costly throwing error that set up the Yankees’ runs.
    LOOKING AHEAD: Mike Pelfrey tomorrow and Johan Santana goes Sunday. -JD